The Showroom

'On Vanishing Land' by Mark Fisher and Justin Barton

A specially selected excerpt from the opening twenty minutes of On Vanishing Land by Mark Fisher and Justin Barton is specially available to listen here in The Library for a limited period, from 24 July - 7 August, as part of the current edition of Fortnightly Highlights.

The track below can be listened to from any device, however Justin's recommendation for listening, should this be possible, is to "use speakers, so that they have some bass. And, if there is a chance, the best image to accompany the playback would probably be a section of light-suffused sky from the ocean-side image (nothing else visible other than sky), or failing that, the whole image."

You can click on the image to the right to enlarge it on-screen.


On Vanishing Land (2013, 45min) is an expansive audio-essay that evokes a walk undertaken by the artists along the Suffolk coastline in 2006, from Felixstowe container port to the Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo.

Fisher and Barton conjured a new form of sonic fiction from the dreamings, gleamings and prefigurations that pervaded the Suffolk coast. Inspired by the cumulative force of the Eerie that animates this landscape, On Vanishing Land pursues affinities between the modernist reinvention of the ghost story in M.R. James’ Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad (1904) and the atmospheric engineering of Brian Eno’s album On Land (1982). It consists of the abstract in the form of music and philosophy, setting out its spoken-word philosophical views using a range of expressive forms which include narrative and fiction. The work opens up radical perspectives concerning the planet, time, capitalism, micropolitics and – not least – the waking of human faculties.

On Vanishing Land includes commissions from digital musicians Baron Mordant, Dolly Dolly, Ekoplekz, Farmers of Vega, Gazelle Twin, John Foxx, Pete Wiseman, Raime and Skjolbrot.

The installation was accompanied by an untitled sequence of a wide range of visual references, produced in collaboration with artist Andy Sharp (English Heretic).

The work was premiered at The Showroom in 2013, as part of an exhibition co-commissioned and produced by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom. On Vanishing Land was released as an album, on Hyperdub, in 2019.

Image: Mark Fisher and Justin Barton, Album cover of On Vanishing Land, 2013. Photo: Mark Fisher. Courtesy the artists.


Mark Fisher and Justin Barton: On Vanishing Land was jointly commissioned and produced by The Showroom and The Otolith Collective.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. We gratefully acknowledge funding from PRS for Music Foundation. Event support from Markson Pianos and Bawdsey Radar.

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